Today was a bright day doubly full of sunshine with a nice breeze cooling the temperature down a notch or two.
As per usual I was pottering around on the outside when I spied a man standing in the street looking over the house. He did not look familiar nor was he dressed in uniform like the meter reading guys. Who was this I wondered?
Brownie on full alert took off up the driveway to chase the silent stranger from being so close to his domain.
Our eyes met four, and the man shouted a hearty "Good Morning!" my way. I answered with an equally hearty "Good Morning!" of my own. I continued to stare at him.....he wore a badge around his neck, a western cowboy hat, dark sunglasses and carried a digital camera in one hand and a clipboard with sheets of paper and a large plot map of the neighbourhood.
I refused to take my eyes off of him, I had to find out what he was all about.
It was then he cried out, "Land Tax Department Ma'am!"
"Land Tax Department?" I queried back.
"Yes, new property evaluations," he answered.
Oh my goodness what a way to start the day. I had never had the "pleasure" of meeting up with a Land Tax Officer before.
I sauntered up the driveway to investigate further.
He informed me that the properties in this Class II area were seriously undervalued and that he was in the area to make it right. Recently transferred to this area, he has inherited an area that needs to be whipped into shape.
It's an old residential neighbourhood established back in the 60's and most folks haven't really improved on their properties except to keep them painted and maintained with maybe a new kitchen or improved landscaping over the years.
According to him the value had appreciated and re-evaluations were of utmost importance.
I rubbed my hand across my forehead in disbelief.
How is it that only one "professional" gets to decide the value of a property? How is it that objections to the increases by the property owner are basically over ridden if they march themselves down to the office to complain?
I had a long conversation with him and I gleaned an insight as to how things are run within his department....what an eye opener for me.
He was of the opinion that my home now has a higher value as well as all the neighbouring homes.
No sense "fighting up" as we say here, since the government needs money in the coffers and this is one of the easiest ways to continue to strangle more taxes from all of us.
What a job to have....how many folks would have taken the time to chat with him?
Before continuing on his way, he thought it would be nice to remove his hat and sunglasses so that I would recognise him again if I ever saw him again...that was quite risky if you ask me.
How many people really like the taxman and would want to be acquainted with him in a social setting?
Given that Barbados is already the highest taxed island in the Caribbean the ability to increase revenue by raising taxes should not be an option....but we all know how this story will end don't we?
I love to learn something new every single day, and today I learned a lot...a whole lot.
One thing is certain....only two things in life are certain – death and taxes.
Isn't it ironic that as soon as I decided to give a facelift to the front of my home, that the property taxman shows up....
**All images borrowed from Google images